A CITY centre businessman has hit out at council leader James Alexander in an escalating row on twitter.

Both council leader James Alexander and shop owner Hanus Wolf, of Burgin's Perfumery in Coney Street are prolific twitter users, and have become embroiled in a row about some of Cllr Alexander's most controversial policies.

Mr Wolf has been an outspoken critic of both the Lendal Bridge trial closure and the out of town Vangarde shopping development at Monks Cross, which he said has knocked tens of thousands of pounds off his turnover. Mr Wolf has said his forthright comments about Cllr Alexander were prompted by his worry for his business.

Mr Wold said that while the Tour de France is good for York in the long term it did not bring the visitor numbers that were promised in the city centre.

But Cllr Alexander hit back on twitter and said Mr Wolf's complaints bring the city and his business down, saying he wouldn't shop at Burgin's because of Mr Wolf's negative attitude.

Mr Wolf has written to The Press accusing Cllr Alexander of trying to rubbish his critics. He wrote: "Now, that I have dared to raise my head above the parapet and voice my concerns to him, he, like a spoilt child with a tantrum, has thrown his toys out of the pram and berated the very business that has been in York since 1880 and pays towards his salary.

"Councillor Alexander is a disgrace who has shamed himself, and more importantly by his outburst, he has shamed the people of York, whom he represents."

But according to the council leader, projects pioneered by his Labour council administration have brought new business and trade to York, while Mr Wolf has resorted to insulting and offensive tweets about the council leader.

Cllr Alexander added: “The owner of Burgins has recently described himself as a ‘like-minded Tory’ on Twitter and asked prominent local Conservatives for help on how to place this story in The Press.

"He sent me offensive messages saying I am ‘unintelligent’, know ‘sweet FA’ and that I ‘don’t give a toss’. I politely explained he talks down his own business when talking down York. This was evident when he complained to Minster FM that Coney Street was empty when the Tour de France came and his business suffered.

“I have never said to anyone that they should not shop at his establishment. I have however said I would not shop there because of the owner’s attitude.”